BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Kern County Water Safety Coalition held a water safety demonstration Friday, showing the dangers of cooling off in the water.
Every year as the heat turns up, people from all over the state flock to local water spots to cool off, and each year those waterways claim lives.
The biggest thing to take away, is that even though a lake or river might seem safe, what lurks below could cost you, your life.
In fact, many drowning deaths could have been prevented if life jackets were worn.
Authorities tell us their best advice is to stay out of the water. But, in reality, that's not likely to happen.
"We've been here to this river before, and it's never been so rough that we have needed a life jacket," said Guy Matthews who was getting ready to float down the Kern River.
But, authorities warn that is not the safest thing to do.
"Unfortunately, every year here in Kern County we have a number of drowning deaths. The thing about these deaths is that they are all preventable. Last year we had six deaths in Kern County. This year in 2013, we have already had three, and we are just heading into our busy season," said Ray Pruitt from the Kern County Sheriff's Department
Something as simple as a properly fitting life jacket can mean the difference between life or death.
"You want to make sure that if you pull up, it doesn't come all the way up. What can happen, if you say I have a vest that will fit your child no problem and it's not properly fitted, that life vest can come up. Now your child is going to be stuck underwater because they are inside the life vest," said Misty Peters, American Kids Sports Center
The Bakersfield Fire Department Swift Water Rescue team demonstrated what it's like to pull a person from the river.
They also pointed out that debris on the side of the river can snag and trap you and in some cases pull you under.
One last area of concern to the Water Safety Coalition is backyard pools. They take lives every year too.
"Often it's a child who's left unattended and gets out back, they are in the yard, the pool is unsecured and the child falls in the water, not old enough to swim. And, that child is now a drowning victim," said Bakersfield Fire Chief Brian Marshall.
Chief Marshal says every pool should be gated and locked. It's also a good idea to pick up water toys when you're done so your child isn't tempted to go in the water.